Study a Character of Ancient Greece by Using Medea Euripides Essay TopicsWhat can be done to make the Greek historical figure, Medea, an interesting and educational essay topic? If you would like to teach a course on the historical figures of ancient Greece, Medea would seem to make an excellent choice. From the very beginning of her story, we can see that Medea was a strong and formidable woman, respected for her virtues and strength.
Euripides portrayed Medea in his plays as a fearsome warrior woman, a strong-willed woman with an uncanny intelligence and sharpness of wit. The famous saying 'The strongest are they who rule over themselves' refers to Medea's wit, as well as her cunning and ability to outwit and outsmart the city's most powerful men. As the woman he loved, Demetrius planned to kill her. However, when Medea bribed Demetrius into betraying himself to the police, Demetrius was ultimately forced to give her up.
Euripides' depiction of Medea will be of interest to students interested in the challenges faced by women, even today. Through Medea's exploits, Euripides portrays the trials and travails of a woman in a society which regarded women as inferior to men. In Euripides' version of Medea's life, the woman she is becoming an unstoppable force against the odds.
Even though Euripides did not describe Medea's physical attributes, her association with snakes is apparent. While Medea is said to have lived in seclusion by the sea, Euripides describes her as a woman skilled at the art of 'knocking out snakes.' This may explain why she was known as the King of Snakes. Through the snakes, Medea seems to have gained the authority to offer advice to the city's leading men.
While Euripides describes Medea as a woman with characteristics that a small child could identify with, you may also find some of the other more rare characteristics that characterize all women of his time, including a lack of charm. Euripides does not quite know what to make of Medea, who is said to be intelligent, well educated, strong, and had a wealth of experience and knowledge. Yet, in the end, Euripides still seems to feel that Medea was a woman who had both the qualities that she lacked and that she had the courage to pursue. A strong, independent woman, no matter how she had been treated in the past, may have been among the most admirable characteristics in the city of Athens.
When you consider that Euripides allowed his characters in his plays to demonstrate such strengths, it is easy to see how a student might be motivated to investigate the world of Medea. For one thing, she fought back against all the odds against her. In other words, Euripides used Medea as a cautionary tale, for those who care to follow her example. Students might also find the importance of her character in her own life and in the lives of those around her.
If you decide to use Medea in your class, consider incorporating some of her characteristics into your discussion of the story. While she may not be as strong or as intelligent as many other women of her time, she is no less a woman. Instead, her actions as a warrior woman teach us all the virtues and strengths that women of the period possessed.